Over 150 families throughout the nation who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, received hampers donated by TSTT staff.
Families in Laventille, San Juan, Tunapuna, Chaguanas, San Fernando, Siparia, Penal, Morne Diablo, Mayaro, and areas in between, were provided with the donated hampers packed with food and other basic necessities. The nationwide hamper donation was the result of a voluntary relief effort organized by the employees themselves.
Desmond Campbell, a Senior Cable Maintenance Technician based at the company’s Cipero Work Centre in San Fernando, explained that as part of the company’s community relations, the technicians met and engage with residents every day to assure their communication needs, and to attempt to assist them in other aspects of their lives where possible. These efforts took the technicians to urban, as well as remote areas.
“Many times we met families living in poor and destitute conditions. A lot of them approached us for assistance and we usually tried to help however we can.
"The COVID-19 situation made their realities even worse because many of them were laid off or had their working hours reduced. Providing for their families became even tougher. It was heart wrenching. We are fortunate to still be employed. We may not be in the best situation but we are also not in the worst. We wanted to help these families put a meal on their tables.”
Campbell noted that the response from the TSTT staff based in South was truly amazing.
“The employees responded immediately and enthusiastically. We did about sixty hampers in total for the families living in the southern areas. The joy came from knowing we were helping people.”
The sixty hampers were given to families identified by the technicians as living in very challenging circumstances and in need of immediate relief.
Although the TSTT employee food relief drive was initially pioneered by departments in South, staff in the North, West, central and East Trinidad, as well as Tobago, joined the initiative.
Debra Nicholas-Brizan, Manager Maintenance North, agreed that the employee response was overwhelming and that they contributed generously.
“TSTT's staff is always very willing to help others who are less fortunate than themselves. We did not have to ask twice. We all have our own problems and challenges so it was really great that every staff member contributed.”
Nicholas-Brizan shared that approximately twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) in addition to non-perishable items were collected from the employees, and this facilitated the donation of 90 large hampers.
“We reached out to the Port of Spain, Tunapuna-Piarco, San Juan-Laventille and Chaguanas Regional Corporations since they assisted in identifying families in need of urgent assistance in these communities, as well as optimizing the structure of our relief effort. Our staff also helped identify families in need based on their firsthand experience on the field. The hampers were distributed to single parents and persons who were laid off.”
Dr. Ronald Walcott, TSTT's chief executive officer commended the staff for rallying around others in need and purchasing the hampers themselves. He noted that TSTT's employees have voluntarily organized many other community relief efforts over the years so this was in line with past staff actions.
"The communities TSTT serve means a lot to us, so we are always happy and willing to provide assistance in any way we can, especially during difficult times like this. Our employees are always willing to go the extra mile because this is a way we can give back to our society and show that we appreciate the continued support of the communities. We will continue to show our gratitude to our citizens in whatever way we can."